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Goats/First time for both of us

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QUESTION: My first time freshener gave birth to triplets today. I have hand carried bowls of water to her and fed her apples and sweet grain and hay by hand. The last one was born about 1:30 today. She has not laid down since. It is almost 9 pm and she is still standing up. They are taking turns nursing on the not too full high teat, and ignoring the full low teat. She seemed to pass 3 afterbirths with this last one still hanging as I write this. Should I be concerned with any of these issues?

ANSWER: They have a different type of placenta and normally only one, but it is quite long and large. It is not considered a problem unless all of it is not out after 24 hours, and sometimes longer. The nursing will help release it.

You should milk out some of the colostrum from the side they are avoiding and then take turns with them holding them to nurse on that side. They need to use both sides. Also you need to keep an eye on them and make sure all are getting enough. If one is losing out, you will need to supplement.

Have you been with her the whole time? She will eventually lie down, but you do need to get that udder down and let them know there is a second sides even if just by holding them there. Good luck. I think they will be fine.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I checked her at 2:20,and she was still standing two babies trying to nurse. The goo was still hanging. Now at 7:00 am, still standing. I took her a bowl of warm molasses water, and her goo is gone except what is stuck to her behind. The big udder is now small, so hopefully they all three got to it. It was 57 degrees here last night, and all are still wagging tails. How do I tell if each one is getting enough? How much do 6-8lb babies drink at a time? She prolly had about a half gallon in that one big side. We got the runt to latch on to the big side yesterday but nothing consistent. The one they emptied prolly had about 2 cups. (She had a precocious udder last year, so I feel this is normal. She is eating her grain and hay but not like when she was pregnant.

Answer
If both sides are now empty, then they ate. It sounds like they are doing well. Hopefully the two sides will even out.

The way to tell whether they are not getting enough is watching to see if one gets left out all the time, loses energy and starts acting different. My goats generally can successfully feed triplets. So they should be fine.

My only other suggestion is to wash with warm water the back of her udder, legs and tail area to get all the crud off.

Have fun!

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Cheryl K. Smith

Expertise

Goat Health Care; basic goat management. Author of Goat Health Care (2009) and Raising Goats for Dummies (2010)

Experience

Publisher of Goat Health Care, www.goathealthcare.com. I have raised miniature dairy goats since 1998. I published Ruminations, the Nigerian Dwarf and Mini Dairy Goat magazine for 7 years and mentor other goat owners, as I was mentored for my first years.

Organizations
American Goat Society (AGS), The Miniature Goat Registry (TMGR)

Publications
Raising Goats for Dummies (author) Goat Health Care (Editor and Author), Ruminations, Dairy Goat Journal, Issues in Law and Medicine, Topics in Health Records Management, Oregon Bar Bulletin, Midwifery Today, Countryside

Education/Credentials
BS, Health Information Administration JD, Law

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